The purpose of this policy is to clearly state how HealthGate operates its Web sites and how information (if any) is collected from users and used HealthGate.
HealthGate is a leader in setting ethical standards for Internet consumer health Web sites and our policy is to respect and protect the privacy of our users. We present this policy to give you a clear understanding of how we operate our Web site and how we collect information from you and how it is used by us.
The information you provide, whether it is when you research a topic of interest or elect to register for certain services, is personal to you. HealthGate will not disclose your personal health information or the subjects that you search while visiting HealthGate (or a member of the HealthGate Network) to third parties without your consent.
HealthGate may require users to register in order to access some content resources that may be made available to you on the site of a member of the HealthGate Network. You may be asked to provide your name and email address, and you may also have to choose a password. HealthGate stores this information only for the purpose of sending you a reminder if you forget your password or aggregating and reporting usage statistics (see Aggregate Data and Personal Information sections). HealthGate does not share any personally identifiable information with any third party.
Health information you supply for the Health Risk Assessment or Personal Health Manager may be anonymously pooled into a database to be used by WellMed and HealthGate for the purpose of assessing general trends and outcomes and improving services. WellMed has agreed with HealthGate to remove all personal identifiers from any pooled data. HealthGate cannot access individual health information submitted to WellMed. WellMed has agreed not to disclose to third parties any personal health information or any identifying data (including name, mailing address, e-mail address and telephone number) unless (1) you expressly direct HealthGate or WellMed to disclose such information or (2) HealthGate or WellMed is required to disclose such information by any applicable law or legal process (such as a subpoena or court order).
HealthGate may collect personal information supplied by you when you choose to use the HealthGate Clinical Guidelines. The information collected may include your full name, a username and password that you select, and your email address. In addition, we associate your personal information with the member of the HealthGate Network (our customer) that provided you access to this resource.
The information is stored to remind you what password you selected when you request that information from us. We may also use this information to determine registration date and last login date and report this information on an aggregate basis to third parties or applicable members of the HealthGate Network (see Aggregate Information). HealthGate does not share any personally identifiable information with any third party.
HealthGate stores this information indefinitely, unless you request that we delete this information (see Remove Information) or if we delete this information in conjunction with terminating our services to the member of the HealthGate Network (our customer) with which you are associated.
HealthGate does not store any personal health information.
HealthGate collects data from the Web logs of the servers -- the computers that "serve up" Web pages -- delivering the HealthGate-copyright-owned content sources. This includes information about what you view and, along with information gathered from our other users, we create "aggregate data" reports that we may disclose to third parties. The third parties with whom we share aggregate data with may include our "Information Partners," or the companies, organizations and professional societies that supply us the medical information that you access, and applicable members of the HealthGate Network. The HealthGate Network consists of those hospitals and other Web sites with which HealthGate has an agreement to provide content. For example, if you visit us from one of the hospitals to which we supply content, we will aggregate the data about what information you used while on the site with other visitors from that site and supply it to the sponsoring hospital. HealthGate may also study aggregate data from the entire HealthGate Network in order to enhance existing services or develop new services. HealthGate will not disclose any individually identifiable information to a third party without your express prior written authorization.
Medical Information and Minors
HealthGate does not operate a commercial Web site or an online service directed to children under 13 years of age. The Company does not collect personal information from children, nor operate a general audience Web site that collects personal information. To ensure that the Company stays in compliance with the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), HealthGate reviews the details of COPPA on an annual basis.
HealthGate's content and other services are not written, intended, or designed for children under the age of 13.
Use of IP Addresses
An IP address is a number that is automatically assigned to your computer whenever you are surfing the Web. Many Web servers automatically identify your computer by its IP address.
HealthGate collects IP addresses from the Web server logs for the purposes of system administration, to report aggregate information to our clients through whose Web sites you access HealthGate's content, and to audit the use of our site. When users request pages from HealthGate, our servers log the users' IP addresses. We do not normally link IP addresses to anything personally identifiable, which means that a user's session will be logged, but the user remains anonymous to us. We can and will use IP addresses to identify a user when we feel it is necessary to enforce compliance with our house rules or terms of service or to protect our service, site, customers, or others.
There are two types of cookies: persistent and session. Persistent cookies are pieces of information that a Web site transfers to an individual's hard drive for record-keeping purposes. HealthGate does not use persistent cookies and, therefore, does not place bits of computer code found with cookies on your computer. HealthGate does utilize session cookies that enable you to navigate the content that you use during your visit. Session cookies do not give us access to any personally identifiable information about you.
HealthGate uses session cookies with one single purpose in mind: to help you better understand and navigate areas of the HealthGate service that our users find valuable. While this activity depends on the use of a session cookie, visitors to HealthGate always have the option of disabling cookies via their browser settings.
We do not control cookies from the other sites that you may link to from HealthGate.
Links to Other Sites
Links to external Web sites are selected based on an individual author's assessment of: (1) source, (2) accuracy, (3) relevance, and (4) balance. The Medical Director has final discretion as to whether an embedded link meets these criteria. All content links undergo editorial review for content and functionality on the same schedule as the content in which they are embedded.
HealthGate's policy does not extend to anything that is inherent in the operation of the Internet, and therefore beyond HealthGate's control, and is not to be applied in any manner contrary to applicable law or governmental regulation.
When you click on "Send to a friend" at the top of some of our pages, we will ask for your e-mail address and the address of the person receiving the page URL and you also may add personal comments. The e-mail address of the receiver of the page URL will not be used for any other purpose than to send the page URL and any personal comments you added. HealthGate does not store either your e-mail address or the address of the person receiving the page URL.
The importance of security for all personally identifiable information associated with our users is of utmost concern to us. The level of security is established by the member of the HealthGate Network. You can determine the security status of the site by looking at the url: urls that start with "https: " are secure sites.
Personal information submitted by you when you are using WellMed's Health Risk Assessment or Personal Health Manager is transmitted to WellMed via a secure method that uses Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption. At WellMed, the information is stored in a secure database behind an electronic firewall and is password-protected. Once you have registered for access to secure area hosted WellMed, you would have been assigned a username and password. You are the only person who has access to this information. We recommend that you do not divulge your password to anyone. HealthGate will never ask you for your password in an unsolicited phone call or e-mail. Ultimately, you are responsible for maintaining the secrecy of your passwords and any account information.
If you access HealthGate from a public workstation in a library or hospital, remember to sign out and close your browser window when you have finished your work. This is to ensure that others cannot access your personal information and correspondence if your computer is accessible to others.
HealthGate cannot completely ensure the privacy of e-mail communications to and from our site because they are not encrypted and, therefore, not secure. These communications, like most Internet e-mail, could be intercepted without your knowledge and permission, while in transit to or from our site. This includes e-mail you send to us through our various mailboxes, and URL information e-mailed from our site to others using the "Send to a friend" feature. If you are concerned about your privacy, we suggest that you do not use e-mail to communicate information to us that you consider sensitive.
Once we have information that we may have obtained while you have visited a site on the HealthGate Network, we store this information on database servers at the HealthGate Data Center, that we house at a SAVVIS Inc. secure facility in Waltham, Massachusetts. SAVVIS Inc. maintains both onsite guards, pass code locked doors access, and pass code authority.
Although HealthGate will make every effort to safeguard your personal information, you should know that no site could warrant that it is 100% secure from "hackers" who might learn how to evade security systems or intercept transmissions over the Internet.
HealthGate may disclose user information in special cases when we have reason to believe that disclosing this information is necessary to identify, contact or bring legal action against someone who may be causing injury to or interference with (either intentionally or unintentionally) HealthGate's rights or property, other HealthGate users, or anyone else that could be harmed by such activities. HealthGate may disclose user information when we believe in good faith that the law requires it. In the event that we are compelled to disclose personal and/or health-related personal information, we will notify affected users, if the law allows, before making the required disclosure.
Removal of Information
You may request that we delete any personal information we may have collected about you (such as e-mail address) from our computers by contacting us directly using any of the following:
1. E-mail your request to firstname.lastname@example.org
2. Call 781-685-4041 and asking for Client Services
3. Send regular mail to:
HealthGate Data Corp.
25 Corporate Drive, Suite 310
Burlington, MA 01803
Due to our regular schedule for creating back-ups for our active databases and the need to retain accurate business records, it is impossible for us to remove each and every occurrence of any information that you have provided to us or that we may have learned about your searching habits. However, we will remove such information from our active files immediately upon receipt from you of any such request.
Last Reviewed by HealthGate Executive Management July 2004.
Last reviewed July 30, 2004 by HealthGate Executive Management
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
Copyright © 2007 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved.